Today in Hip Hop History: Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton (1988)

August 8, 1988

American Gangsta rap group N.W.A. released their debut studio album, Straight Outta Compton, through Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records in 1988. The album was produced by Dr. Dre and co-produced by DJ Yella and contained no features. Straight Outta Compton is considered one of the most important hip hop albums ever released, and it changed the course of hip hop forever. The lyrics displayed the west coast gangster lifestyle to an audience that, for the most part, was not ready to hear about.

The writing was mostly handled by Ice Cube and MC Ren, and many feel that the group’s message glorified gang violence. The album’s most controversial track, “Fuck tha Police”, was infamous for deeming N.W.A. as the “World’s Most Dangerous Group”. Public uproar and police resistance caused a significant backlash against the group, and even threatened to jail the members if they continued to perform the song live.

The list of accolades for Straight Outta Compton is endless. It has been included on multiple lists for greatest hip hop album of all time, and even high up on the great overall album of all time. The cultural significance and relevance of it remains true today; violence within minorities in America remains prevalent.

An upcoming film with the same title is set to release later this month, directed by Felix Gary Gary. It depicts the lives and upcoming of N.W.A. in the late ’80s. Peep the theatrical trailer below, and let us know what you think in the comments!

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